time I’ve been working freelance. OK, I’ve had a few ‘research trips’ to nice places, but they were nevertheless ‘work first, try and fit in a bit of relaxation later’. To be honest, I don’t think you can entirely relax when, in the back of your mind, you know there’s an article or three to research and write up to pay for the whole experience. Maybe I’m just unlucky, but it strikes me as slightly dubious to assume that – especially in this day and age – freelances can easily afford to ‘take a break’ at any time of the year, let alone the summer. However, I really enjoyed the issue

overall, especially the features on writing for overseas markets (ideas), the ban on broadcasting Sinn Fein spokespeople (laughs) and Rodney Edwards’s work uncovering historic sexual abuse in Enniskillen (respect). You probably don’t get enough people thanking you for putting The Journalist together. So... thank you. Paul Cockburn Edinburgh

Photographers lose out as DM motion lacks deadline Last year, the NUJ Delegate Meeting (DM) instructed the National Executive Committee to create a seat on the Ethics Council for a photographer or other visual journalist. Without this, the Ethics Council may pronounce on photojournalism matters with little or no first-hand knowledge. The Photographers’ Council (PC) has

since asked several times for early implementation of that instruction. We


have been advised this is a new seat on Ethics Council, not a vacancy, so cannot be filled until the next full round of elections, which will be at DM 2020. The PC considers that this lengthy delay is unacceptable, and other bodies with the right to table DM motions may want to consider including time limits for action. When DM passed a motion instructing the NEC to create a Photographers’ Council, this included an instruction to act within six months. With the benefit of hindsight, the PC greatly regrets no similar timescale instruction was included in the Ethics Council motion. Natasha Hirst Chair, Photographers’ Council

Go to folk clubs to get some politics with music The critics who, in Tim Lezard’s words, “frequently complain that there’s no politics in music any more” should start going to folk clubs. Although many of us who go to those clubs love centuries-old songs about love, sex and death (and other human experiences), we also like and get to hear various great singers and writers of hard- hitting political songs. None is better, in my opinion, than

Leon Rosselson. He is now 85 and in his 60th year of professional gigging. Other political songwriters who the said critics should make an effort to hear include Peggy Seeger, Sandra Kerr, Jim Woodland and the late Ewan MacColl. Sheila Miller London

twitter feed Tweet us your feedback: @mschrisbuckley Denis MacShane (@DenisMacShane) 6:19 AM - 16 Jul 2019

Bravo @amyfentonNWEM Chief reporter Mail in Cumbria who went McClean, VA in US, to challenge Gannett Corp (owner of UK subsidiary) at its AGM (Amy bought shares) over lousy pay for journos in UK

Una Murphy (@Una_VIEW) 7:11 AM - 15 Jul 2019

Just read @AntonMcCabe in the latest edition of The Journalist. Importance of journalists in the community is highlighted in the work of @rodneyedwards @impartialrep on child abuse @ProvNewsHistory

john o brien (@irishfabian) 7:23 PM · Aug 7, 2019

Freelance journalism is part of the gig economy. It is important that someone has your back. Reading the letters page of The Journalist it is great to see @NUJofficial helping freelance journalists when

Thanks for directory of public sector contacts Thank you for the new Journalists’ Local Authority Directory, which is funded by the Journalists’ Copyright Fund but was prompted by the NUJ and others. I recommend it strongly. It’s free to NUJ members and it is a

real godsend to those of us who are maddened by councils and other public bodies that do not put their press office numbers on the websites. David Brindle London; username: nuj19; password: Qy8p

Headlines still have the power to entertain As a former sub-editor I have always appreciated the fine art of writing headlines. My favourite one, I believe it was in The Observer decades ago, was The Soiree With The Binge On Top. However, there appear to be a great

many amusing ones around these days. As I write this letter I see a report in The Times: Focaccia off! Italy bans school packed lunches. Keith Turner Life member Norwich


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